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The Media. April 25, 2013. Opportunities to discuss course content. Today 11-2 Monday 10-2. Learning Objectives. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed .

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The Media

April 25, 2013


Opportunities to discuss course content

  • Today 11-2

  • Monday 10-2


Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed.

  • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process


Readings

  • Chapter 7: Political Communication and the Mass Media (Flanigan)


Horse Race Coverage

  • What is it?

  • What does it contain

  • Why?


Following The Polls


The keys to horse race coverage

  • Polling

  • Perception

  • No issues


Horse Race Dominated the Primaries


Horse Race coverage in the Primary election


Component I: Categorizer

  • Sorts the candidates into winners and losers

  • Creates an Image for the candidate

  • Romney

  • Obama


Component II: Expectation Setter

  • Puts odds on the candidates

  • You want to be at the top… duh

  • But it isn't as good as you might think


Component III: Mentioner

  • You want the media to notice you

  • Not all press is good press

  • Mentions mean money and votes


Component IV:Winnowing

  • The Press Winnows (narrows) down the candidates

  • Attention is on Iowa and NH

  • Frontloading is the results


Winnowing In 2012


Debates


Presidential Debates

  • A Recent Phenomenon

  • General Strategies

  • Do not screw up


Why Candidates Like these

  • A chance for exposure

  • A chance for Legitimacy

  • A chance to move in the polls


Presidential Debates

  • Who Wins (the leader in the polls)

  • The Person who doesn’t make a mistake

  • Does it matter?


Presidential Debates

  • Win by not losing

  • What don't you want to do?

    • The 1960 Debate

    • Seem heartless

    • You are no Jack Kennedy

    • Eastern Europe is Free

    • Adm. James Stockdale

      • Blind , Deaf, Dumb


Impact of the First Debate on Coverage


The General Election


2012 vs 2008


Less Horse Race than 2008


Obligatory Chad Long Dig


Negative Coverage Dominates


Horse Race Coverage Favors Frontrunners


The Media Missed Palin


The Media Strategy


The Media Strategy

  • Getting the Message Out

    • Paid Advertisements

    • Free Press

  • You campaign for votes and you campaign for media by getting free coverage

  • Avoid cannibalizing


Getting Free Press

  • Having your message get covered by the media

  • You can reach a wide audience and It is not costing you money

  • This is fully mediated


Obama Gets More Coverage (President + Candidate)


Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Create a package

  • Convey a winning message

  • Shape an Image


Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Don’t Say too Much

  • Repeat the Few Basic Points

  • Bad Press is Bad Press


Ask Herman Cain about Bad news


Paid Media in 2012


Paid Media

  • Unmediated

  • Control the Message

  • More outlets than ever


A Record Breaking Year

  • 1 million ads were aired

  • Both Sides were overwhelmingly negative

  • Obama Spent more and Ran More Ads

  • The Best Ads


Herman Cain Bizarre Ads

  • The Rabbit

  • Smoking


Targeting Ads and their Effect

  • Uncommitted voters vs Partisans

  • When are they Most Effective?

  • Ads are a sign of political viability


Candidate Credibility

  • We have to trust the messenger

  • Issue Ownership

  • Try to focus on your best issue


Getting More Votes

  • Delivering a positive message about your candidate (mobilizing)

  • Deliver a negative message about the opposition (mobilizing/demobilizing)


Biographical Ads

  • Inform us about the Candidate

  • Very important early in the campaign

  • Obama doesn’t need to run these….


Issue Ads

  • Focus on a specific issue or a policy area

  • Associate yourself with favorable policies

  • Do not mention issue weakness


Examples of Issue Ads

  • The Bear in the Woods in 1984

  • Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris...

  • Hillary Clinton- Attack/Issue Ad


Attack Ads

  • The Norm Rather than the Exception

  • The Mother of all Attack Ads


The Effect of Attack ads on voters

  • Some voters become disenchanted and disaffected

  • Your Base Loves them!


How Effective are these

  • If they didn’t work, candidates wouldn’t run them

  • The Lessons of 1988

    • The Revolving Door

    • Willie Horton


Why They Work and Who uses them more

  • We don’t trust politicians

  • They are more memorable and informative

  • Challengers and vulnerable incumbents use them


How To Deal with them

  • Defend the Charges

  • Counterattack on the same issue or up the ante- The Puppy Ad

  • Attack the Credibility of your opponent


How not to deal with them

  • Do Nothing

  • If you get Punched in the nose, you must punch back


How the attack can backfire

  • If you are seen as being too evil


Ads Can Backfire

  • You do it too late to make a difference

  • You bring a knife to a gun fight


The New Media

  • Innovative in 2008

  • Candidates had a lot to like

  • They didn’t like the anarchy


Social Media in 2012

  • No new Innovations

  • Obama Retains the social media advantage

  • More Control

  • More negative


You have No Friends on Social Media


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